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Re: [The-Burnsville-Socrates-Cafe] 5/14/13 questions and discussion

From: Shannon
Sent on: Thursday, May 16, 2013 11:45 AM
Why would it necessarily be a matter of faith? (I certainly do not think we need to invoke "God" to establish a system of determining right and fact I would "prefer" that we leave the concept of "God" out entirely) Like any decision we have a basis for making...there are reasons behind it. As I have mentioned before, I think the standard can be hard to arrive at but I do not think it falls back to merely preference. I remember others mentioning that not to cause harm standard can be generally agreed upon...Yes we can argue about what this means but just as we have set up a system for dealing with close cases (courts-Judge/Jury) we can discuss and reason the difficult cases.

From: Jon Anderson <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Thursday, May 16,[masked]:56 AM
Subject: Re: [The-Burnsville-Socrates-Cafe] 5/14/13 questions and discussion

To Shannon's statement: I am eager for the "basis" for the judgements of which you write to be made explicit. Lacking that it boils down to faith. Faith alone as the basis for anything, let alone our reasons for deciding right or wrong, is too problematic to be allowed.

John's "willy mildly" murder question has the problem of no such society ever existing. Does he have a more likely scenario for demonstrating objective evil, or is that the only way to "prove" it?



If there is a problem you can do nothing about, why be upset? If there is a problem you can do something about, why be upset?

On May 15, 2013, at 11:07, Shannon <[address removed]> wrote:

Just to clarify from last nights conversation, when arguing against ethical relativism my point is not to try to assert that any particular theory is correct but that we can at least say that some theories are better than others.
I don't think that when we argue about right and wrong that it is merely expressing a preference. If that were the case, even having the conversation would be silly like arguing chocolate ice cream is better than vanilla (everyone knows that coffee is the best...;) but seriously I agree with the idea that not all decisions will have foundational ethical implications. In that sense, I think that there can be several and at times many "correct" ethical answers (Steve...tolerance to different ideas is a good thing) however when discussing the matter with a person who thinks that killing for fun is perfectly acceptable (willy nilly) I'm gonna have to side with Jim/John...we can be critical of this viewpoint...and I would argue it is wrong and not just a matter of preference.
For those of you in support of relativism, how do you reconcile the ability to even have a discussion about the topic...if it is just a preference expression, then we have no basis to evaluate when we think action is good/bad, evil/good, etc whatever evaluative language you want to use. I think that we all make these judgments and have reasons for making those judgments has to have some explanation...that does not mean that we cannot be mistaken about what we think/believe. These kinds of issues are harder to decide because the facts that support them are slippery, but that does not mean that we can't arrive at some as the basis for our claims. 

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